As I attend surgery support groups and meet with patient both before and after weight loss surgery, one thing is for sure – surgery is not “the easy way out”. Anyone who has been through this process knows, there is no quick fix to be found here. Weight loss is hard work, with or without surgery. The same lifestyle changes are necessary for lasting success with weight loss with surgery – plus many, many more.
This blog series will be a mix of patient and provider perspectives about life after weight loss surgery. No two patient experiences are alike – as you will see in the patient stories. The providers at the Weight Center have much expertise to share after working for over a decade now with many patients on this journey.
Bottom line…the journey does not end with weight loss surgery. Follow up with medical providers, maintaining a strong support network, and staying aware of daily choices are keys for true success.
Lets kick off this series with an analogy written on a weight loss surgery community forum:
I liken my obesity to a person standing in a deep hole without a rope or a ladder. There are some people who are able to dig themselves out without the rope or the ladder, and others get part of the way up but then slide back down. All the while, there are people peeping down the hole, giving directions on how to get out or telling you that it is your own fault that you are in a hole in the first place. Or telling you how they know many people who have dug their way out of that hole successfully and telling you that a rope or ladder is not needed.
Some people are so convinced of their own inadequacy or defeated that even if the rope is made available to them, they don’t use it because they want to show the world that they can get out of the hole without it, or they are ashamed to admit that they need a rope.
If you imagine yourself in that hole, imagine how that would feel. It is easy to just sit in the hole and give up after so many attempts to get out. You start to feel that it is impossible.
Gastric bypass is my rope. It is a tool. If I use it correctly, it will get me out of the hole and keep me out. If I don’t use it correctly, I will remain in the hole.
If you have had weight loss surgery and would like to submit a blog entry, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. All patient entries will kept confidential and shared anonymously on the blog.
Keep Moving, Be Well
Janet Huehls, MA, RCEP, CHWC
Please share these posts with anyone you know interested in losing weight with or without weight loss surgery. Click here to learn more about the UMass Memorial Weight Center
These weekly blogs are general guidelines. These guidelines apply to patients who are cleared by a physician for the type of exercise described. Please contact your physician with any concerns or questions. Always report any symptoms associated with exercise, such as pain, irregular heartbeats, and dizziness or fainting, to your physician.